The west coast beaches of Sri Lanka is the region from the capital Colombo south towards the charming colonial town Galle in the south. It was one of the first areas to be developed when Sri Lanka was on the 'hippy trail' in the 1970s and a number of famous resort towns and hotels grace the sands along the way.
The first major beach resort as you head down the coastal road is Wadduwa, home to the gorgeous boutique hotel, the Reef Villa. It is one of the most beautiful hotels in the country.
The next major resort town is Kalutara. Dominated by a magnificent Buddhist temple, there are several package style resorts along this stretch. Further on down more of the same can be found at Beruwela.
The major west coast beach resort though, is Bentota. The proximity of a large lagoon and a large wide sandy beach means that Bentota is the home of water-sports in Sri Lanka – with everything from diving to kite boarding to jet-skiing, available here. There is a plethora of restaurants, bars and top class hotels in this area.
There are several 5* hotels along this part of the coast, catering to the package market. More elegantly, Club Villa cater for those wanting something more unique than a large international hotel. It also has the advantage of being on the much quieter southern end of the beach. A little inland and serenely peaceful is Nisala Arana , a small and enchanting hotel set in huge grounds. The Avani Bentota is a great value option in this area – combining excellent design with a peaceful ambiance.
Inland from Balapitiya is the excellent and secluded River House.
Ambalangoda is the mask making centre of the island and an interesting visit, and Ahungala is pleasant, but the next major concentration of hotels is at Hikkaduwa. Famous for its lively nightlife, Hikkaduwa also has some of the best restaurants outside of Colombo. We don't generally recommend staying in Hikkaduwa itself: a visit during the evening from nearby Bentota or Galle is usually enough.
Further south from Hikkaduwa is Dodanduwa and the wonderful beachside resort of Aditya. This hotel takes Sri Lanka's beachside accommodation to a completely new level with fantastic design and furnishing. Aditya is a 20 minute drive from Galle and 15 minutes from Hikkaduwa.
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